2012: Johnny Cueto and Company
The Cincinnati Reds recent history has offered much in terms of elite rotations, but 2012 offered a pretty good set of hurler. Led by a 26-year-old Johnny Cueto, 2012 starting rotation put up a 3.34 ERA, tied for third-best in the league with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cueto won 19 games with a 2.78 ERA, a season good enough to be a Cy Young finalist.
After being traded from the San Diego Padres during the offseason, 24-year-old Mat Latos contributed a great season with a record of 14-4 and a 3.48 ERA. Latos led the Reds with 185 strikeouts, a number he’d surpass in 2013.
This staff also included the much maligned Homer Bailey. Bailey threw the first of his two no-hitters in 2012 against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 28th. Bailey finished the season going 13-10, striking out 168 while posting a 3.68 ERA. This was a great season for Bailey who would eventually sign a costly contract extension in 2014.
A young Mike Leake and a veteran Bronson Arroyo rounded out the 2012 rotation. Leake was in his third season with the Reds, while Arroyo, at the age of 35, put together one of the best statistical seasons of his career. Finishing 12-10 with a 3.74 ERA, 2012 will always be a standout season on the back of Arroyo’s baseball card.